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  CSPAN    U.S. House of Representatives    News/Business.  

    September 28, 2010
    10:00 - 12:59pm EDT  

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help them engage. they are partners in creating this report and we are out there in the field trying to wrap up a citizen engaged in voter participation. just thank you for having me on. host: let's talk about solutions. common cause has talked about ways to improve the situations. what are some of the recommendations for solving this? guest: one of the major solutions we have seen work is what they have in north carolina in terms of voter registration. during the early voting period, voters can go down to the county clerk's office and register to vote and a vote on the same day. it takes a lot of bird and out of the process -- a lot of burden out of the process. when they were instituting that law, there were not quite sure how it would work, whether it would create more work, and it eases the burden across the board.
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board. it is an exemplary way to run an election. helping people to register is a big problem in this country. other countries don't have that kind of problem. they have much simpler processes. we want to head in that direction. something like the north carolina model, where you have election day registration or registration during early voting, number one reform. it takes away so many problems. host: susannah goodman with common cause, thank you for being here. coming up next, we will take you to the senate armed services committee, where they will talk about the pentagon budget and deficiencies in different programs. testifying today is general cartwright, the vice chairman of the with joint chiefs of staff thanks for watching today's "washington journal." we will be back tomorrow. [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2010]
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>> good morning, everybody. the committee meets today to hear testimony about [inaudible]
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announced by the secretary of defense in his speech at the eisenhower library and the pentagon speech. we're pleased today to have defense bill liane. ashton carter, and the vice- chairman of the joint chiefs of staff, general james car right to address this important issue. -- general james cartwright. indeed every aspect of how it does business. and in each instance he said we must ask first is disrespectful of the american taxpayer at the time of economic and fiscal arrested, and second is this the best use of limited dollars given the pressing needs to take cover ou care of our people.
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i share the secretary's objectives are reducing duplication overhead and access in the defense enterprise and instilling a culture of savings and restraint across the department of defense. on august 9, the sector followed up by announcing a series of specific cost-cutting measures, including a reduction in funding and for service support contracts by 10% per year for three years, a freeze on the number of o.s.d. defense agencies, a freeze on the general officers, a review and reduction of the number of reports, studies, and advisory boards, new limits on positions and contractors for intelligence functions.
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i agree with the secretary on the rapidly-expanding service contractors who supports the department. too often in the past we have constrained and number of department of defense employees without raisplacing a limit on service contractors. and rather than saving money, we have lost badly needed talent, expertise, and institutional knowledge in the government and given contractors more responsibility for the performance. i believe the acquisition efficiency initiatives announced by secretary carter are
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consistent with the objectives of the weapons systems opposition reform act. although i have concerns about some of the details, i am particularly pleased by secretary carter's emphasis on open systems architectures, fixed-price incentive contracts, increased focus on affordability and improved management of contracts for services. i hope that he will place an equal emphasis on the implementation of the opposition reform act requirement for development testing and systems engineering. at the same time, i believe the secretary's initiative deserves close scrutiny to from the committee. the secretary has a legitimate objective of eliminating overlapping organizations within the department, and his attorney determination to cut costs is commendable, but it appears
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there was an adequate analysis and inadequate openness in the procedure, which preceded his august announcement. for example, we need to be sure the personal restrictions announced by the secretary cannot undermine our ongoing efforts to rebuild the department's acquisition work force. study after study and hearing after hearing has shown that our acquisition program's cost billions of dollars more than they should, in significant part because the acquisition workforce was dramatically cut in the 1990's and no longer has the capacity to perform its essential functions. as the acquisition advisory report showed four years ago, the failure to find an adequate number of acquisition professionals has been penny wise and pound foolish as is seriously undermines the pursuit of good value for their expenditure of public resources.
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similarly we need a detailed accounting of the functions performed by the organizations that the secretary proposes to consolidate or eliminate. and for those functions that will no longer be performed, we need to understand why they're no longer needed. for the functions that are still needed, we need to understand who will perform them. we need to understand what resources will be transferred, eliminated, and what the real savings are likely to be. i am disappointed that more than six weeks after the secretary's announcement of these measures, we have received only the roughest and general information about the department's plans. i fully understand the frustration of the senators from virginia and their inability to obtain a more complete rationale and plan for the pentagon's proposed actions. the secretaries in tend to reduce duplication, overhead,
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and excess in the department of defense is commendable, but his action should be supported by an open process, which includes detailed analysis and full consideration of opposing views. we again thank witnesses for their presence here this morning. we look forward to their testimony, and i call upon senator mccain. >> thank you. i thank the distinguished witnesses for being here this morning and their service to the nation. secretary gates announced a series of initiatives in august to improve the inefficiency of the department of defense. as part of this initiative, he also passed dr. carter to improve the department's buying power through a plate it acquires critical goods and services in order to stop runaway costs, growth, and program delays. we look forward to hearing from dr. carter of the initial procesprogress he is making.
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i'd in both these initiatives are coming at an important time -- i think both of these initiatives are coming at an important time. secretary gates understands the top economic and fiscal situation facing the nation, and i support his efforts and doing everything possible to make every taxpayer dollar counts. i want to emphasize the that the intent of this effort is not to reduce the department's top line, but to find savings over the future years to invest in critical structure and modernization priorities. we obviously cannot afford to short-change our military, and we must maintain commitments to the defense budget that supports the full-range of our national security commitments. this committee has consistently supported the department's efforts to reduce massive
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overhead costs and ordered to direct sources to are fighting and tool initiatives. i look forward to getting more information on these proposals in the next few months in order to fully understand the scope of the anticipated savings and the impact on the missions and operations of our forces. one proposal the secretary has recommended is the elimination of a joint -- join forces command. i strongly support that proposal. on the issue of the transformation agency, i would be issue interested if we would ever have an audit of the defense department. that would be a major step forward. and the secretary challenge such services to find more than 100
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billion in overhead savings over the next five years. obviously we want to make sure that those reductions are -- that did not impact -- a term readiness over time. i want to support the senator's decision to support the growth of combat in demands and freeze the 2010 level the number of senior executives and political positions. dod management deserves a rigorous review to mixture has the proper personnel with the right ranks and right positions. i also supports the secretary's decision to eliminate the said engine for the joint strike fighter. on the subject of the joint strike fighter, i would points out to the witnesses and my colleagues that the joint strike fighter is another example of the terrible cost overruns
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associated with weapons procurements and the reasons why we not only need to make $100 billion in savings, but we need to fundamentally brief form our acquisition system. i believe, correct me if i am wrong, the joint strike fighter cost more than the original estimate. we cannot continue down that path. it is not affordable, in the american people deserve better. -- and the american people deserve better. a look for to hearing from you in working with you to bring about the proposed changes that i think are bold initiative by the secretary of defense. thank you. >> thank you, senator mccain. secretary lynn. >> a thank you for the opportunity to appear before you to discuss the department's efficiency efforts. i would like to put the full
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statement in the record and summarize it here briefly in an oral statement. >> thank you. he could during a speech at eisenhower library, secretary gates outlined how to maintain and modernize the key military capabilities at a time of war and fiscal pressure. the defense department would need to fundamentally change the way it does business. the reason is this -- to sustain the current military force structure, which we must do given the security challenges this country faces, requires the equivalent of real budget growth of 2% to 3%. the overall defense budget is expected to rise in real terms by about 1% based on dod inflation assumptions. the department cannot and should not ask congress or the american taxpayers for more increases in any year unless we have done everything possible to make the
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dollars we already have an account for more. bridging that gap requires calling the department massive overhead costs and structures and directing them to the fighting forces and modernization accounts. this is not an effort that senator mccain indicated to reduce the budget. this is about shifting resources and priorities within the existing topline. at requires reducing the department's overhead costs by targeting an unnecessary access and duplication in the defense enterprise. this effort is not just about the budget, it is also about operational agility. we need to ensure the of the department is operating as efficiently and effectively as possible. the secretary has directed us to take a hard look at how the department is organized, staffed, and operated. hal weakened latin and streamline the organization -- how we can flaten and
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streamline the organization. and reduce their role in the cost of support contractors. since the secretary's speech in may, d.o.t. has embarked on a four-track towards a more cost-effective way of doing business. on track 1 the secretary directed the military services to find more than $100 billion in overhead savings over the next five years. the services will be able to keep many of those savings but the generate to invest in higher priority for fighting and modernization needs. this effort is now under way and we have begun to review the services submissions. the 2012 budget will reflect the results when it is submitted to the congress in february. on track two, the department is
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seeking ideas and proposals from outside the normal channels. we have solicited input from experts from think tanks, industry, and from the departments of external boards. we have also established at d.o.t. suggestion program to solicit our own employees' ideas. -- we have also established a dod suggestion program to solicit our own employees' ideas. track 3 review focuses on affecting -- term, systemic improvements in several key areas of operations. dr. carter will address these and more details in his opening statement. with regard to track four, the secretary announced on august 9, specific areas where the
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department can take action now to reduce inefficiencies and overhead. these steps are intended to jump-starts the reform process ahead of and separate from the normal programming and budget submission process. in particular, they represent the secretary's lead efforts to reduce headquarters in support bureaucracies. that has swelled to cumbersome proportions, grown over reliant on contractors, and have grown accustomed to operating with little affect to cost. an equally important process as to put forth a culture that makes real trade-offs and separates and restraint appetite from general requirements. there are eight major initiatives and trackein track .
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it also includes efforts to reduce boards, commissions, and redundant intelligence organizations. finally, they involve several organizational establishments. the last decade has seen a significant growth of new offices and organizations, including two new combat and demands and five new defense agencies. the secretary concluded that joint forces command, the assistant secretary of defense for networks and information integration, the joint staff's directorate, and the defense business transformation agency, no longer satisfied the purpose for which they were created. some missions and tasks that each reform remain vital, but can be managed effectively elsewhere. other functions that performers are either already performed elsewhere or are no longer relevant to the operation of the department.
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we are mindful that the recommended actions will have economic consequences for displaced employees, their families, and their local communities. the department is committed to work with the affected communities and will devote significant attention to employees. we have asked dr. clifford stanley to take direct responsibility for this aspect of the department's planning in order to ensure we take the steps necessary to help impacted employees with the appropriate assistance and support. in closing, mr. chairman, i understand some of these reforms may be controversial and unwelcome to some people inside and outside of the department. no doubt many of the changes will be stressful, even wrenching for the and the organization and employees involved. i would ask that members of this committee and the congress as a whole to consider this reform agenda in terms of our
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responsibilities as leaders to set priorities and moved resource from where t needed least to where they belong. america's fighting forces, investment future capabilities, and most importantly the needs of our men and women in uniform. that is what secretary gates and president obama are proposing, and we urge your strong support. thank you for the opportunity to discuss this initiative with you today. >> thank you very much. >> thank you, mr. chairman, senator mccain, and distinguished members of the committee. on the piece of the initiative that secretary gates and secretary lynn had charged me with organizing, which concerns the $400 billion of the $700 billion defense budget, which is contracted out for goods and
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services, the other 300 billion is spent within the walls of the department of defense on the salaries, benefits and so forth. and those that work for the department of buildings and facilities which and they work. the other 400 billion is contracted out. roughly between goods and services. we estimate that by targeting efficiencies in the way that these goods and services are acquired, we can make a significant contribution to the overall $100 billion gold that secretary gates and secretary lynn had laid down for us over the next five years. to put it bluntly, we cannot support our troops with the capabilities they need unless we do so. our challenge is to sustain a military at war, take care of the troops and their families,
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invest in new capabilities all at a time when defense budgets will not be growing as rapidly in the years following 9/11. last year we identified savings in the defense budget by canceling unneeded programs, and we will need to do more of that. now we must also find savings within programs and activities we do need and do want. the department must achieve what economists call productivity growth, and what i call learning to do more without more. delivery in the program the department needs in the war fighter needs for the amount of money we will get. if you think about a computer, you buy one every year and it gets a little bit better and cheaper -- why is it that on the contrary, senator mccain has already noted we come up for you every year with the exactly the same product and it costs even more?
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that is not productivity growth. in late june we laid out the mandate to the defense acquisition work force and the defense industry describing how the department can achieve this better buying power in contacted activities, and on september 14, after several months of intensive work within the department with our program managers, system commanders and so forth, and also with our partners in industry to accomplish this work and perform it for us and outside experts, i issued specific guidance on how to implement that mandate. i with like to submit that guidance. the june 28 mandate as well, and all the materials that accompany them for the record and supplement it briefly. we are now moving figure sleet and implementation mode and
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taking each of those items that were in the guidance and making them happen. let me just summarize the high points of those points of guidance in five categories and a specific example so you will have some idea of what we're trying to get at. first, as we begin a program such as the ohio class replacement, the joint family of systems for long-range strike, the army's ground combat vehicle, and even the new presidential helicopter, which we will be embarking on, we need to establish affordability requirements. we will also insist that our acquisition professionals and suppliers plan according to what programs should cost, not according to self-propelling historical estimates of what they will cost as if nothing can
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be changed and how we do business. we are already using this method to drive down costs in the joint fighter program. we have a long way to go. wheat should pay something that is less than that. -- we should pay something that is less than that. we will strengthen the connection between profits and performance in our business practices. among other things, we are exploring ways through contracting in financing vehicles and the pilot-preferred pilot program to reward contractors to control costs and demonstrate an exemplary performance. third, we will remove obstacles to -- through effective
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competition. last year the pentagon rewarded $55 billion in contract does for which contracts were supposed to be competitive only one bid came in. in simple changes in how we structure of valuations have been shown to reduce 50% the incidence of single bids. additionally, we will promote real competition, where it is the single most powerful tool the department has to drive productivity growth. we must stop deluding ourselves with the idea that directed buys from designated suppliers represents real competition. we're already cutting down on directed by this. -- directed buys. competition is not always available, but the evidence is
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clear that the government is not availing itself all possible competitive situations. fourth, we will move more aggressively manage the over $200 billion we spend annually on services such as information technology, knowledge-based services, facilities at k.i.a., weapons system maintenance, and transportation. when most people think of the defense budget, they think of ships and planes, but more than 50% is for services. you may find this hard to believe, but our practices for buying services are even less effective than for buying weapons systems. this, we're taking steps -- >> i do not have any difficulty believing that at all. [laughter] >> i did at first, but i'm getting used to it. we're taking steps to reduce
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steps and processes to support major investment decisions or uncovered response to execution issues. a limiting low-value statutory process is, and then are referring to provisions of acquisition reform act that we understand the intent of that and appreciate that intent and are executing to that intent, including developmental tests and evaluations and systems engineering. -- >> you can continue to watch this hearing at c-span.org. we plan to go back to the senate arms services hearing after the house recesses later this morning. now the house. . . appoint the honorable john a. yarmuth to act as speaker pro tempore on this day. signed, nancy pelosi, speaker
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of the house of representatives. the speaker pro tempore: pursuant to the order of the house of january 6, 2009, the chair will now recognize members from lists submitted by the majority and minority leaders for morning hour debate. the chair will alternate recognition between the parties with each party limited to 30 minutes and each member other than the majority and minority leaders and minority whip limited to five minutes. the chair recognizes the gentleman from massachusetts, mr. mcgovern, for five minutes. mr. mcgovern: mr. speaker, in 1992 when the peace accords were signed ending el salvador's 12 years of civil war, many of us anticipated a new and prosperous era for that country. in the following years political competition flourished and electoral processes matured. the ruling maintained its
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power, winning consecutive elections for the next 17 years. but in 2009 the opposition party won the presidency it was a watershed moment for el salvador. sadly many things did note change over these years. the ability of the courts and justice system to hold elite government officials and members of the security forces accountable for crimes including human rights crimes continue to fail. reinforcing a culture of impunity. the newly creaed 34r -- created police was infiltrated by criminal elements and human rights abuses who blocked investigations and collaborated with criminal groups. the poor did not benefit from trade and investment and international aid diminished and the migration of salvadorans to the u.s. is as great or greater than it was during the civil war. some things get worse. little could i have imagined the violence becoming worse after the war, but it has. criminal networks invaded the
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country and use it to traffic drugs, guns, human,, and other contraband throughout the hemisphere. youth gangs are exploited. security and judicial authorities are corrupted. crime, violence, and murder have exploded. this is the reality inherited by the president 18 months ago. i had the privilege of meeting him, advised the administration of being prag gnatic -- pragmatic, and addressing the crime and corruption that are robbing the country of its much longed for peace. however there are long-standing institutional problems that remain obstacles to reform. the pursuit of justice and even consolidation of democracy. among them in my opinion is the attorney general's office, where countless cases of murder, scruppings, drug trafficking, money laundering, and other crimes are astounding. but the administration is taking courageous and positive steps to confront these
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challenges. these include naming an inspector general for the police who is serious about ensuring that honest, hardworking police force is not sullied by corrupt cops. this month the inspector general has suspend interested duty over 150 police officers. these bad apples are under investigation for corruption and links to criminal and drug organizations. rather than embracing this effort to clean up the police, ingransgent forces -- intransigent forces are investigating the inspector general. this action has been accompanied by renewed death threats. last december senator leahy praised the work and the importance of strantening the rule of law in el salvador. i agree. i believe the inspector general is taking courageous action and i encourage the state department and u.s. embassy to continue to support her in these efforts. the president is exploring the
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possibility of establishing an independent commission similar to the one created in guatemala under the auspicious of the united nations to investigate drug and criminal networks and key human rights crimes. this would ensure an independent investigation into many of the criminal cases and charges of official corruption that have languished in the -- for years. the president is also working with mexican president calderon, the obama administration, and central american neighbors to confront the escalating penetration of the region by major drug cartels. he is seeking coordinated strategies in action, increased assistance, stronger laws, and policies, more effective social investment. el salvador's experienced several tragic episodes of witness carried out by gang members and public revulsion of gang crimes is at an all-time high. they sounded tough but failed
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to reduce crime. he's also established an advisory commission on gangs and gang related violence. one program that might be a model is the center for organization. it has had success working with young people and rejecting gang life and providing those who want to leave gangs with advice, education, and training. its pastor, is a member of the president's advisory commission and he has made important contribution to make -- to make -- to make this work. mr. speaker, it is in the best interest of the u.s. to support the administration as it strengthens -- seeks to strengthen the rule of law on institutional corruption and crime and help lead the region in breaking impunity and confronting criminal threats. i would like to insert in the congressional record an article in the "los angeles times." i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. the gentleman's time has expired. the chair recognizes the
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gentleman from virginia, mr. wolf, for five minutes. mr. wolf: thank you, mr. speaker. mr. speaker, i rise today to share with my colleagues the text of a letter i sent today to president obama, secretary gates, and admiral mullen. all other parties in the administration charged with executing the war efforts. i'm enclosed my correspondent to the administration a copy of a letter from a constituents who is the mother of six children all of whom are currently serving or have served in the u.s. military. i submit for the record a copy of my original letter to the president as well as a copy of the letter from my constituent and ask unanimous consent that it be printed in the record. my letter today to the administration will read in part, i implore you to consider my constituent's views. the views of an american mother with children glad to serve our country and to move swiftly to establish an afghanistan, pakistan study group modeled after the iraq study group to bring fresh eyes to the war effort in afghanistan. the group would be comprised of
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nationally known and respected individuals who love their country more than their political party and would serve to provide much needed clarity to a policy that is increasingly appears to be adrift. candidly after reading yesterday's "washington post" piece adapted from bob woodward's "obama's war" i have serious concerns of the needed clarity about our aim in afghanistan ever existed within the administration. woodward writes, even at the end of the process, the president's team wrestled with the most basic questions about the war then entering its ninth year. what is the mission? what are we trying to do? will it work? these are sobering questions but they are questions that must be answered and the afghanistan-pakistan study group is just a means to arrive at these answers in a way that honors their men and women in uniform. in the halls of congress or the white house, at foggy bottom or the pentagon, public
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discussions can at times be detached from the actual eyes most impacted by the decisions. this couldn't be further from the case for this mother. she doesn't have that luxury when it comes to the war in afghanistan and we mustant -- mustn't, either. this ought not be politics. for it is always in our national interest to openly assess the challenges before us and chart a clear course to victory. frankly i have been deeply troubled by woodward's reporting which indicates that will discussions of the war's strategy were infused with political calculations. an afghanistan-pakistan study group could help redeem what was clearly a flawed process. i close with the lines from my constituent she said, the casualties suffered aren't just numbers to me. she said, each name, each face represents a family who is paying the ultimate price, the loss of a son or daughter,
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brother or sister, father or mother, a family that will never be the same. therefore, she said, i wholeheartedly support the formation of afghanistan-pakistan study group in the hope that it will help to turn the tide of this war and lessen the number of casualties as well. i hope the president and his advisors will heed the eloquent words of this military mother who had six children serving and another child, another child is married to a marine, and many have served both in afghanistan and iraq. and yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the chair recognizes the gentleman from oregon, mr. blumenauer, for five minutes. mr. blumenauer: thank you, mr. speaker. the political parties are missing an opportunity to deal with both the discontent and fundamental causes we see in the political process today. you don't have to identify with
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the tea party to be frustrated with the tax system. it's incomprehensible, expensive, unfair, and unsustainable. people of all parties and philosophies understand that the long-term debt of the united states and the fiscal practices that drive it are heading us for a train wreck. the answer is not to ignore real problems, change the subject, or make it worse. a tax discussion should frankly address why the system is incomprehensible. the lack of certainty. how it doesn't pay for what america needs and how we spend more through tax breaks than we collect overall. there are real problems that we should be zeroing in on like the alternate minimum tax. it was a millionaire's tax some 40 years ago that now threatens 30 million american families, not the billionaires. they won't pay it at all.
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but the near rich and middle class. a system that was actually made worse the way bush tax cuts were structured. we should deal with the corporate tax, yes, it is the second highest stated rate in the world, but few companies pay the full amount because of a swiss cheese of exemptions and special provisions. it actually penalizes people who manufacture here in the united states. i would suggest if we can borrow trillions of dollars for tax changes, shouldn't it be used to fix the broken system not pushing problems ahead a couple years? instead, the debate is largely about extending $3.5 trillion in expiring bush tax cuts, or maybe only extending $2.8 trillion, not mentioning the cost of borrowing that money from the chinese, the europeans, or japan. missing in the debate is how much of that we can afford at
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all. not just the borrowed money and the deficit, but the lost opportunity to get the tax system right. and it is not just about taxation. we must also look at the expending side of the equation which is widely acknowledged. our defense budget can be reduced and redirected. there are hints of this in the obama administration, but we can go far more. we cannot continue to spend above the rate of inflation not counting the wars in afghanistan and iraq while we spend billions of dollars to protect west germany from the soviet union. neither of which exists anymore. we lavished agricultural subsidies on the richest agri business, but it doesn't help most farmers or wranchers.
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we can help far more for far less. there is the bottomless pit in the name of homeland security. dana priest's brilliant writing in "the washington post" pointed out, it's out-of-control spending, layer upon layer of activity that doesn't make us any safer, perhaps we mi be less safe with all the expenditure. there are some on the other side of the aisle that talk about eliminating being had health care reform. no. we should actually accelerate the reforms that are in the health care bill so it won't just save money but actually improve health care. we can invest in value over volume. and we must not ignore why the long-term picture is such a problem. we don't want to make it worse. many tea party sympathizers and john stewart fans could agree on this -- jon stewart fans could agree on this path
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forward. it would be nice instead of campaign documents that get people past an election but not solve a problem that we work on areas of agreement with the public that start us on a path to fiscal solutions and economic recovery. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. pursuant to clause 12-a of rule 1, the chair declares the house in recess until
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i mentioned a combat ship acquisition0r strategy as the ny altered its six months ago or so as in its sample of that. that was a situation which you are pointing to, which is two shipbuilders who were showing the signs of or suggesting in bids and expectation they would continue to be in business matter what. we said that is not working for us, so we're going to it down and select, someone will lose and someone will win. the bids that came in after that announcement were quite different than the ones before. >> why don't you supplied that for the record. that is one of the biggest
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problems here. i in glad we're going to fix a price-incentive contracts, but if there is only one major defense corporation competing -- i do not know the answer, but i do believe that is a fundamental problem. speaking of reports, there is a myriad of reports that are required by congress every year. every time we did authorization bill, if someone wants an amendment approved, we say why don't you ask for our report. why don't you give us a list of the reports that are unnecessary and unneeded and duplicates, and maybe we can act next year and eliminate a lot of those and you can spend your saturday afternoon watching it may b naval academy football.
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we do not read those reports either. dirty little secret. sometimes we get briefed on them and they're very important, but the vast majority ones are soltored somewhere. isn't the biggest cost escalation in health care? >> yes, sir. that is the largest account that is growing at a substantial pace. >> any ideas on that issue? >> we are reviewing that as part of the fiscal 2012 budget. >> there is no doubt it is growing in dramatic fashion. >> there is no doubt. >> double digit inflation? >> in some years. >> recently? >> yes. >> the other thing that might be
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helpful to the committee is asking for our report, maybe you could do a little study for us or compile statistics on the so- called ratio of the last 25 years. i think what we will find is a dramatic growth in civilian personnel, pentagon, and other places, and i think we will also see a dramatic growth in staffing of the ratio becoming less and less altamonte to save the least. would you agree that that is pretty much the case? >> yes, i do, senator. we have several stocks that have grown, and the impact of force is it ages the force. it consolidates a lot of the leadership activities and headquarters away from the battlefields. it tends to be layered, and that is what we're after. >> is it might be helpful to
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motivate some sort of action to show us how that growth has been, posted actual number of four fighters -- number of war fighters. >> thanks pas to secretary gates for initiating this series of moves, which i support. the fact is we are asking more of our military than we have been quite a while with the combination of being involved in the war against islamism the stream is them, managing relations with the rising and more assertive china, and a host of other problems. the fact is that we are already facing a squeeze where we are not giving the military all that they need, and therefore, part of the answer is to eliminate the waste. bottom line is i appreciate it
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very much what you're doing here. i want to focus on the armed forces command. i am not stating my opposition to the proposal, but i really want to ask, is it good for our national security? have reached the point where it is time to put up the mission accomplished signed on to join us in the military -- jointness in the military, and will we really save enough money to justify what will be lost in the command? i do not have the answers yet. and i want to admit that i may be biased, but i will still keep my eyes open because i was involved in the late 1990's in legislation to create this joint forces command. we were responding to report by
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what was called the national defencse panel. it was an impressive group. they recommended the creation of the joint forces command to drive jointness to our military, which had not been done. ultimately secretary cohen put the joint forces command into place. so my question really is, and i must say with respect, to me, there is a little bit of confusion about what the
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argument here is, because secretary lynn, in your testimony you did say the principal purpose for the creation has largely been achieved, but you did say in response to senator levin, it is so important that we -- it has not been achieved, but no longer justifies a four-start command. my question is have we really -- i do not believe we have accomplished the mission of guaranteeing jointness in the military, and i wonder if you will disband the command, where else will you do it? or do you think we have achieved it thus far? secondly, it doesn't really save
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enough money to justify the closing of the command? -- does it really save enough money to justify the closing of the command? >> i would not say it as mission accomplished. i think we have made substantial progress in internalizing join tness into that combatant commands. we operate differently than we did in the gulf war, which in many ways was the trigger for the recommendation, the panel you suggested. we operate in the complex we're in fundamentally differently than we did. the services operate in a much more joint way. it was our conclusion that we made sufficient progress that it will not be reversed, and that we can use the joint staff subordinate organizations to continue other important
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elements to continue the progress, but it does not justify it a billion dollar command, and we do think we can make substantial savings all of that billion dollars by eliminating some of the functions such as the join- manning role and place, which largely duplicates the role of the joint staff. >> my time is up. do we have a cost figure at this point about how much you think closing the joint forces command will stay? >> we are working through that. we think we will be able to save a substantial portion of the billion dollars, but that is part of the process to determine which elements, which centers of the joint forces command we want to keep and where we want to keep them and which ones will go away, the headquarters, and the internet that through and get the savings figures. -- and net that through and get the savings figures.
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>> where will they be, and will something be lost if they are disbanded? i look forward to those answers on another day. thank you. >> thank you, senator lieberman. >> this question is for the entire panel. it has to do something with what secretary gates they did. he said the fact that we're a nation at work calls for maintaining the military were structure and the goal of the efficiency initiative is to cut the overhead costs and transfer the savings to structure and modernization within the program budget. on august 9, 2010, secretary gates stated that "the task before us to sit at the debt reduced overhead costs and apply the savings to structure and
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modernization." over the summer there have been rumors that the b1 bomber fleet might be proposed to be retired in pursuit of the $2 billion in savings the air force is required to find under this initiative. general petraeus spoke very highly of the presence and performance in afghanistan, and i guess i am perplexed are rumors such as these, propose retirement to obtain the required savings and lights of secretary gave in light of sec' initiatives for cost-saving. >> secretary gates has asked us to do two things as we go
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through that. not one is to make a determined effort to reduce overhead, a transfer those resources to the war-fighting accounts, and those are the quotes you indicated. he also asked us to look at the war-fighting accounts themselves, and that as a six- part of what secretary carter is doing, and see if we can gain better efficiency and productivity from those forces. what the result will be of that, i would not pre-judge that at this point, but we are looking across the board at the forces themselves, as well as the overhead to war-fighting transfer. what you are saying is the department is not looking only at pre-socratic rigid bureaucratic redundancies and overhead, but looking at reducing structure in order to provide -- >> they are looking at how to
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making the forces we have the most effective they can be to accomplish the mission. let me ask you one other question with regard to a september 20 article worth ith the air force joint chiefs of staff said it is the billions that has produced a cost savings they had expected. it was said it is unclear this will result in actual savings. there was a study stating that joint facing is actually costing the department of defense more money than if they have remained separate. what is your reaction to that criticism about the 2005 joint basing initiative ended up costing money rather than saving money? >> i am aware of what general
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schwartz said and the gao reports. i think we have to take them seriously and reexamined the path we're on anteater review and see if we think that data is wrong and the savings are there, or rethink the course of action. >> does the current authorization include overseas? >> yes. >> have there been any recommendations made about base closures or consolidation since the secretary's called this 9 announcement? >> there have been no recommendations to that effect. we are in the midst in terms of the overseas bases, there is a global force posture review going on at this point looking at what are the purposes for those overseas forces, how best to accomplish those purposes, and what we think the basic structure would be to support that. that is a study that is ongoing
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right now. >> my time is expired. thank you, chairman. . .
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>> we will continue to propose an overseas contingency account for afghanistan and whatever remains in iraq. over time, you could expect to see those, conditions permitting, decrease. most of what we have been talking about today in the hundred billion dollar base budget -- we're talking about not reducing debt by $100 billion, but by finding $100 billion in the overhead accounts we can shift to war fighting accounts so we can have 3% growth in the war fighting accounts which is what we think we need to sustain those capabilities but with an overall top line of 1%. that is a significant challenge but that is what we're trying to do. >> this is also about freeing up resources and continuing operations overseas and support the fighting forces, is that fair? >> absolutely. >> part of what we would like to
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be able to do is the accounts have sustained capabilities we have found it necessary that we want to retain as part of our core capability. this will create room for those capabilities to move into the budget. >> you have also identified capabilities that are unique id you plan to phase out, i presume? >> that is what the analysis is looking for. >> secretary carter, you point out that services in growth and service contracts are probably more difficult and larger than we all expected. usually the poster child for this problem is the big weapons platform -- it is very expensive and only two contractors, it's not fully competitive. what i sense is that the service contracts are proliferating.
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sometimes the contractors are riding the contracts for the services. can you talk about how you intend to deal with the issue of service contracts? >> a few of the main points -- first, the different categories are a little different. there is maintenance activities , of information technology services, a category of the rum, there is an advisory -- a category of their own, advisory services which is the matter the secretary was speaking of earlier, these are augmentations of the government staff that provide expertise that we at the moment to not have within our own walls. they play an essential role. nothing wrong with that. we want to make sure we get them
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efficiently and we are also working to strengthen the talent we have within the government and not excessively reliant upon people outside. in all of those areas, and like ships or planes, our ships and planes are bought by people who buy ships and planes for a living and they are very good at. most of our services are bought by people as an ancillary duties. they're amateurs. they're issuing contracts for services to help them and it is not their principal preoccupation. it is not surprising that there tradecraft is as good as it would be of that was all they did. we're trying to help them get better. but how do you do that? we're trying to shape the requirements and be clear about what you want, down just drift into asking more and more and being more and more reliant. ask yourself why five years ago three people sufficed and now five people are doing the same
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thing. tempe again periodically even though it is a nuisance. -- compete again periodically. we're trying to help service acquirers do better without burdening them with a lot of the administration structure but assist them to be good, amateur buyers, market research is another part of that. it depends sector bisector, but the low hanging fruit is there. -- it depends sector by sector. knowledge based services have grown even faster than the rest of services. there is a lot we can do and contingency contract in is another area where we are trying to improve. we know we did not do very good in iraq and we're trying to do better in afghanistan. >> it seems that wittingly or
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unwittingly we have created a system that is much harder to hire a full-time department of defense employee that is to write a contract worth 10 or 20 times more over time and nature will take the path of least resistance. is that your observation? >> it absolutely is. it is part of the acquisition work force initiatives which this committee have a lot to do with getting underway. we're trying to make it easier for our buying commands to hire with the walls of government the kinds of people we need. these are not oversight bureaucrats. these are people at the point of execution -- systems engineers, cost analysis, pricers, contracting officers and so forth. the people who actually execute. it is a struggle and the economic circumstances are helping in that regard as they
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help recruiting elsewhere in our department. we need to make it easier to bring people in if we want them within the walls. >> thank you. >> thank you, mr. chairman. thank you for your service and thank you for being here today. as someone who is new to the senate, one of the things that struck me when i first came here was the size of the defense department and the number of combat commands and the number of four-star officers. i want to go over this to make sure have my information correct. as i counted, we have 10 combat commands as well as this new cyber set unified command which is under strategic command, we have 40 4-star officers in the
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u.s. military as well as 717,000 civilian employees in the defense department. these are staggering numbers. to the average americans to hear the size of this organization -- and make no mistake that we all want to support the military and what the military to be as effective as possible, but we also want the military to be efficient. having heard which have said, secretary carter, about outsourcing and cost increases in services on the outsourcing side, what are we doing to look internally the on the recent proposals that have come up about joint forces command? what we doing to look and see are we using our resources in the best way possible? are we top-heavy in the department of defense with our 404-star officers -- with our 40 4-star officers.
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>> i think my colleagues are in a better position to give you an answer than i am. >> i think most of the numbers you gave are accurate. the secretary has directed there be starting with flying general officers, there has been an addition of last 10 years of about 100 flight officers. -- flag officers. he has asked for a target of reducing it by half of that. there has been a growth of about 300 senior executives. he has the same aim their as to review that growth. we have been talking about the growth in support contractors. he has directed that over the next three years the target be 10% reduction and as i
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indicated, those are defined generally as people providing staff augmentation as opposed to weapons testers or depot maintenance or direct war fighting functions. you did not mention the various boards and commissions, but we have 65. that seems like a lot. we are reviewing those to see if we cannot reduce and he has directed a 25% reduction in their funding immediately. senator mccain mention the studies, some of which we generate internally, some of which come from congress. there are good reasons for some of them, but as senator mccain indicated, it's an appropriate time to review. from congress, we get about 600 annual reports and 600 new ones from each bill. i think there are a thousand
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people involved in producing those reports, so there is potential for reduction there. secretary gates has exactly the same reaction you did. it is important to support the military. we are in the midst of a fight in afghanistan and not want to take away from that. but we can add to it by reducing our overhead accounts and putting those resources into the war fighting accounts. >> general car right, do you have any comment of that? -- general cartwright, d have any comment on that? >> every command we are looking at, every jtf, do we have the right level of responsibility? many times we have it because a counterpart happens to be a four-star and that's not really a good reason. we're trying to get it back down so the creep can stop and get pushed back to where it is appropriate.
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where we have the right balance of span and control and responsibility. >> what responsibilities to give to depart evident -- part of defense in place to find savings. is there anything in their performance review or tied to their compensation if they're able to buy a ship cheaper or find a savings in a service contract? are we rewarding them for that behavior? >> there is a substantial effort we are undertaking call a culture of savings, which is where we will try to incentivize the individual and institutional to self correct. how are you evaluating -- is this something important to the command? have we could the right incentives where you have contractors and guard, reserve, civilians and uniform military,
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active duty -- can you put in place structures that say each of those costs escalate. can i say that you need flexibility to move around? sometimes a contractor is -- at least to cover a long time to cover civilians. can we put in the incentives, not forgetting about them and leaving the contractor in that position? >> want to commend you for what you are undertaking. we're going to have this challenge to our government and i hope the other agencies undertake the same methodology that you are. it is not easy to do, but it needs to be done because our financial situation does not allow us to keep spending more than we take in. thank you for the good work you're doing. >> senator ben nelson. >> let me add my appreciation to work your doing to economize and
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create more effective budgeting process for the department of defense. as you do that, questions will continue to come up, are you cutting in the right places, in the right way, are you leaving in place the best kind of military we need or are you improving it? the questions are there and will continue to be raised. senator lieberman referred to join ness has a critical element of assuring. -- referred to jointness as a critical element of what you are doing. i hope as we develop, the process to bring together the elements of the military so we eliminate stovepipe being and
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protectionism of one branch of the government in its programs from the incursion by another branch of the military, that we will be able to maintain that jointness. it is not easy or we would not have created the command to deal with it. i hope that it is now how systemic in the sinking within the department of defense as well as the branches of the military to think in terms of jointness and a reduction of stove piping. senator levin and others have asked that this analysis your working be provided to us in a detailed analysis. to we have a timeframe to expect what your analysis, what your methodology is to reduce unnecessary expenditures, to eliminate some of what has
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developed with double-digit increases in budgeting? do we have a time from where we might expect that? >> there are four tracks in this effort. the first track is focused on the $100 billion savings. the savings themselves and the analysis that supports them will be part of the fiscal 12 defense budgets submitted to congress in february. the track to effort is outside efforts, including the one general cartwright referred to as far as civilian employees. we will be reporting those as they come available. track three are focused on particular practices within the department. secretary carter testified to some as a few moments ago.
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he put out a memo on the changes we're making in the acquisition system earlier this month. if we have not already, we're happy to provide that to the committee. track for, we have a series of task forces working on implementation plans and as they develop, we will provide as to the committee. >> thank you. in one particular area, i have been very pleased to see the level of coordination between the navy and the air force is the global hoc program. the joint training, global operation, it at the opportunities to eliminate redundancy and improve mission effectiveness. i am going to get to one specific area where i hope we can continue that type of cooperation and joint
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[inaudible] which is unmanned aerial vehicles. it has been acknowledged they have to be better to coordinate their efforts. we do not need to separate programs with any unnecessary duplication that may come from that. since the army and air force have spent $7 billion on similar aircraft, it raises a red flag. it's not that the red flag cannot be taken away or overcome, but is there and i hope will direct the attention necessary because that is a very specific areahe likely to being counted. i wonder if you have any comments? >> there are places or of look for commonality rather than redundancy. in our unmanned aerial vehicle
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systems, the ground control networks, this base side of the equation, making sure they are common to the best extent possible. in the unmanned aerial vehicles, we have it from minds of for procurement. i turned to dr. carter on some of this. but the key is a common vehicle with different payloads. using that and being able to adapt the payload as the fight changes and well in sight of normal acquisition practices has been our advantage in that area. we seek to capitalize on that as we move forward, not only in the unmanned aerial vehicle systems but in others. >> i think general car right as it just right. the only thing that would add -- general cartwright has it right. the lighting that ad is a program -- i think the costs
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have been growing and unnecessarily so. that is one or are intent upon restoring productivity growth. i have very good word on those who recognize the cost is growing. this is a very important program and we cannot allow ourselves to manage it in a way that it becomes affordable. that is a program that is a focus of my managerial attention at the moment for just the reason i indicated earlier when i express our dismay at coming to you exactly the same thing every year and asking for more money for it. >> do you agree there is a commonality developing between the air force and army with respect to that? >> i do agree and i think
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general cartwright is right. the processing and exploitation commonalities, some of the handling systems in the field, making them common, and having a suite of mission payloads from which any service or user can draw, these are the key ingredients of the mix and match strategy. we see that in the field in afghanistan, the way we use the unmanned systems. >> thank you. >> senator brown i believe is next. >> thank you for trying to give us the best value for our dollars. i think every agency in the federal government should give a top to bottom review and try to streamline, consolidate and bring some of these and to the military. i am keenly concerned and aware
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of that fact that we need to maximize our dollars in this day and age because of what is happening federally. that being said, i find it curious that yet to come up with a budget and yet the federal government is not even doing a budget. congress is not even doing at budget ourselves but we're asking you and other agencies to come up with the budget, i -- so i would hope that we start to lead by example. we have a tremendous amount of -- a tremendous amount of equipment, guard, reserve -- in iraq in particular, we have yards filled with equipment just sitting there. is there an effort to create jobs and get our equipment up and running and ready for the next valley -- the next battle and move towards some of the expenditures and bring it
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forward, to actually get this thing is happening right now. creating jobs, upgrading our equipment, getting everything back into the system and a reevaluating where we need to go from there. we may not need some of the equipment that is slated down the road of which can take care of the stuff we have. i would just throw that out there for whoever. >> we have a major reset program on going, taking the equipment right now out of iraq and refurbishing that equipment where appropriate and bringing it back for units in the united states. that is going to the depots as we speak. >> i would just add that there is a juggling act that goes on with some of this equipment as we read posture toward afghanistan. some of this equipment is positioned and being repaired
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and upgraded coming out of iraq so it can be moved directly to afghanistan. that is one class of equipment. there is another class of equipment we to get back to the united states said it guard units and active-duty units can train on. there is the throughput capacity of our depots and we're trying to maximize that activity and keep it as efficient both in cost and effectiveness as we can. there is also the last category which is that equipment, some of which you are speaking up, we're not going to use this equipment. it is out of date and we're probably going to replace it with the next generation. can we take some of that equipment and train people like iraqis to maintain it and provided to them so that we get the most bang for the buck and keep them on an american-type
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system? we try to balance against that. the highest priority is to make sure anything we need in afghanistan that is located in iraq as fast as possible to look up the forces in combat. then we work toward the lesser categories. >> the whole idea of competition and dealing with people providing equipment for us in the armed services or any other agency -- to the believe competition is a good thing? if so, what we doing to promote or sent the message so we can do our thing to help promote competition? do we get a better product or better price? it seems like the federal government is the only place where we don't. >> we think competition is an important tool to get better prices and equipment for lower
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prices. it does not work in every case. you have to make sure restructure the competition correctly so you are not maintaining both contractors and definitely. you need to make sure you are not over investing up-front but, in cases where you can avoid those pitfalls, it is a strong tool. dr. carter mentioned the combat ship. we have restructured that to have much greater competition and are finding results from that. >> when work done by private contractors is labeled inherently governmental, does it end up costing the taxpayers more money because of the federal employees cost is significantly more when you take into account their retirement and health benefits? is at an accurate statement?
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>> are you asking a federal employes cost more than private? >> as a general statement, i do not think that is accurate. >> thank you. before i begin my statement, i like to point out the number of community leaders and constituents from virginia that are here today. congressman bobby scott was here and i'm not sure if he is still here. mayor johnson and senior staff representing the governor. we are all united in our concern for the process that has been used and i would ask unanimous consent that statements submitted by mark warner and governor johnson be entered into the record at the end of my turn today. i served five years in the pentagon and i support as a general principle the efforts to
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bring efficiency into the process of there. i'm particularly interested in seeing which come up with [inaudible] which has been significant since my time in the pentagon in the 1980's. i have worked on this issue since i have been in the senate. senator mccaskill and i were to create the wartime commission to correct system deficiencies. but any proposal related to many changes affecting unified combatant commands should be guided by a clear process, a sound analytical basis and compliance with applicable laws in a way everyone can understand it. this is not a parochial issue. it will become more important to everyone on this committee as secretary gates and others follow through on their stated intention to consolidate other military bases and installations.
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the present lack of transparency and consultation stands in stark contrast to have reached traditions are generally made. we heard today the pentagon spent several months reviewing proposals, holding more than 30 meetings. we did not have access. we did not have an opportunity to provide input. on august 9th, secretary lynn called me 30 minutes before the decision was publicly announced. that's not a way to conduct a review that has enormous implications to our defense and community interests. i believe in another sport that is called stiff farming. we need to know the analytical matrix used to compare all the commands and agencies if we are able to evaluate a major proposed organizational establishment of one. we need to know if the
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department has conducted comparative analysis of the commands. this same lack of response to a harness -- responsiveness has marred the delegation. several weeks ago, we began making multiple requests, seeking answers to a variety of important decisions. to this point, we have been stonewalled. seven weeks ago, i asked for data on the size of major department of defense staffs. i think that their relative question. i have not gotten an answer. have not gotten an answer on how big the osd staff is. when i was in the pentagon, that would have taken an hour and we're still waiting. the department has failed to enter the most basic questions that have come from its delegation with respect to cost- benefit analysis that shows what
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savings could be gained by closing just, and how they would outweigh the missions that jifcom performs. we have no way to quantify the effects of this proposal in such areas as fiscal and local economics implications. the commonwealth has been a strong supporter of the military and its families, particularly this area of the commonwealth of virginia. every day, our families interact on a multitude of decisions to coordinate actions related to military facilities. this affects business planning, community planning, real-estate values and people are perplexed as to why the process guiding this proposal is being conducted in such contrast with the department's traditional approach. this has led many to conclude there is no comprehensive analysis that would support this
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recommendation. it leaves the question of how serious the department of defense really is about lasting reform on a broader scale. we need to get our questions answered. we deserve to have a full understanding of the department's analysis and implications. we need facts and today, i filed an amendment to the national defense authorization act that would require the secretary of defense to provide detailed analysis and other assessments we have requested before the president would close or all i any combat and command. senator warner is a lead co- sponsor. at my other colleagues will consider supporting the amendment and i am also renewing my call to president obama to withhold any final action on this recommendation until we have that sort of information. i know my time is up, but let me say one thing. you once were a staffer on this
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committee, correct? >> yes, sir. >> you worked for senator kennedy, as i recall. >> yes, sir. >> on your way back to the pentagon today, i would like you to think about what staff member lynn would have said to senator kennedy in terms of advice if senator kennedy had been stuffed with a 50 minute phone call when an announcement of this magnitude was made and then not provide information for seven weeks when he tried to gain information. i think i know the answer to that would have been. thank you, mr. chairman. >> thank you very much, center web. i think we ought to give secretary lynn an opportunity if he wants to comment. he can do that now or later. the vote has started, but if you want to take an opportunity now to comment, if you wish. you may not wish to do so --
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>> i would like to comment. senator webb, former secretary webb, i appreciate you did not feel we have shared as much information as you would like. although i think the core issue here is a disagreement over the recommendation. this was not a business case analysis as some have described it. this was a military decision. the secretary consulted with his closest military advisers on the rationale for the joint forces command. there are four central purposes having to do with joint manning, a joint training, joint experimentation. on the joint manning areas, the conclusion was a was duplicative and not a value-added function. the function was better performed in a joint staff and the joint forces command should
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be taken out of it. on the joint training, joint doctrine, those are purposes the continue and we need to maintain our progress, but we have made sufficient progress in that area that we go longer need the billion dollar expense and leadership of a four-star military command in that area. i know we disagree on that, but that's the central rationale. we will review implementing that decision and that will determine how much of the billion dollars we might be able to save and how much will need to be continued to maintain the joint training, and joint doctrine centers and facilities, some of which would continue to say it -- continue to stay in the norfolk area. >> if i may, just as an immediate reaction, there are no decisions of this magnitude that our military decisions. not in the night of states.
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there are military recommendations to the secretary of defense who then makes a recommendation to the president. those are essentially a civilian decisions. i appreciate the distinction you're making, but it does not answer the questions i have. what i would really appreciate from you -- the reason i stopped is i know we have to go for a vote and i want other people to have their questions, but i really would asked you be more forthcoming, your department be more forthcoming when we are requesting information so that we can evaluate this. it is not simply whether we disagree. we deserve to make our own evaluation based on information we can be provided only by you. >> i appreciate your request, senator. we met with some of the members of the virginia delegation this morning to try to start that, including the governor. we talked about setting up a meeting with yourself, governor,
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the embers of the virginia delegation with secretary gates directly to discuss that. we are establishing a channel in order that information that delegation feels crucial to be considered by the task force reviewing implementation of the secretary's recommendation. >> i am asking for basic data that you can provide in one day. i'm glad to be will have the meetings, but it does not seem to me it would take seven weeks to tell me how many people are on the osd staff. >> i will get you the number. >> we have a series of questions that are data-oriented that literally could be answered in one day. in seven weeks, we have not gotten any answers. >> theosd question i was unaware of a look into the data and get you the answers. >> thank you.
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>> that data will come not just to center web. -- to senator web. i think his frustration reflects the frustration many of us have by the lack of process all this have. i made a reference to that in my opening statement. i do feel the process and analysis issue, that there is a feeling, at least some of us have, i surely do, that it was not adequate year. putting aside for a moment with the data would show. there is an absence here of analysis that has been forthcoming, not just to senator webb, but the public in this matter. this should have been made available prior to the decision, not after the decision. that represents my own views but also i am guessing the views of
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many members of the committee who have put in the same position as the virginia delegation. to recess now and we probably have to vote. this probably inconveniences' our panel. i don't know if you're notified in advance, talking about the fact this might be happening. if not, i apologize. we will probably get back here in about 25 minutes. >> thank you. [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2010]
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>> and the senate arms services committee is taking a break.
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so members can vote on the senate floor. when this hearing resumes, our live coverage will continue at c-span.org. we will have the house live in about 20 minutes, up to 85 resolutions and bills will be debated. no votes are expected. until we go to the house, here are some calls from this morning's "washington journal." let me show you this headline. "new york daily news." let's add a month to the school year. year. the president backs and longer school year. then also the front page of the story, the president saying the d.c. public schools don't add up to private education. that is from the present yesterday as well. then there is a "the washington post" this morning with the headline. democratic candidates blast the gop over education policies, in search of a rallying issue. it looks like candidates in the house and senate races talking
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about education, hoping to sway independent voters. eliminating the education department has been a staple of some tea party candidates. some have retreated from the statement but democrats believe emphasizing them can resonate with moderates and serve as a rallying cry. are there problems with the education system, and what are the solutions? all owings mills, maryland. shirley, democratic line. caller: i think a lot of the problems unfortunately lies with the teachers. i have a nephew who is sort of developmentally challenged and i had to write letters at the school to get them to test him. i was appalled the speech therapist tested him and said the way he pronounced words were afro-centric and that was okay and they will just let it stand and i had to fight. host: what are the solutions?
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caller: i think the solutions are that we need to start taking better teachers in the beginning and not let them stay on. i am a nurse. if you don't do your job, they fire you. i think that is what we need to do with these teachers. i think they need to be paid more. host: ok. caller: and i also think, though, some teachers just get in there and stay and stay and look forward to retirement and not really caring about the students. and i am an african-american and i think we need more male teachers in our schools. host: increase their pay but don't allow them tenure. caller: exactly. host: washington, d.c., steve, democratic line. caller: i think the problem is poor teachers not being kicked out of the problem is that as we don't have a good evaluation system for teachers. but i think the larger problem -- and no one is talking about this -- is the inability of many
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parents to be a good partner with the schools and teachers in the education of their children. if i don't think they either do it or know how to support their children's education when they come home at night. whether it is doing homework or having teachable moments, teaching attention, discipline, being involved with the teachers in the classroom. i think a lot of parents have lost or were never taught how to be a good parental partner in the education of their children, and i think we need to create workshops or some sort of support for the parents to be better partners at home for their children. host: lake stevens, washington. curtis, independent line. good morning britta caller: my comment is this the -- you know, i grew up in the inner city in chicago, illinois. i was 25 years old when i
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eventually left. sometimes the truth is a painful pill to swallow. but i did not believe that the achievement gap between minorities and the majority white population or any aspects of academics will change until the parents in the inner-city make the dropping out of school -- take it off the table as an option completely. you have some parents who walk around with gucci bags or louis vitton bags and these kids don't have a backpack. we need to become a culture -- we continuously blame the teachers. how can we blame the teachers that -- if they are doing the absolute best they can but at home these children are receiving absolutely no discipline? host: new jersey. joe on the republican line. caller: we spent 20,000 a
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student in the newark, new jersey, and we were just given $100 million from a business guy. but it is not the problem of money. democrats want to throw money at it all the time. what we have to do is to get the families be involved. when i went home, my mother and father said, what homework to you have? and we finished it. and they got involved. but we don't have that today. typical of every democrat, from money at it. host: take a look at how much to the education department is slated to get if congress goes through with president obama's edges take -- education request. an increase of $3.5 billion over fiscal year 2010. would he make of those numbers? caller: a lot and say is, when i was a kid we did not have an
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education and washington, we had it local. it may get local. get rid of all of the bologna this guy is handing us and get the parents involved and get the local schools involved. if it is crazy that we have to have education and washington that disk -- dictates, mandates, and everything else. host: if you go to the education department website, they talk about the federal role. they say education is primarily a state and local responsibility. it is states and communities as well as public and private organizations of all times that established schools, colleges, develop curriculum, determine requirements. destruction -- structure of education finance reflects the dominant state and local role. of the estimate of $1.10 trillion spent nationwide and education of all levels, a substantial majority will come from the state, local, and private sources. this is especially true at the elementary and secondary level
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where 89.5% of the funds will come from non-federal sources. the federal contribution to elementary and secondary education is about 10.5%, which includes funds not only four of the department of education but also for other federal agencies. host: chicago. doug, democratic line. the u.s. education. what of the problems, but solutions? caller: thank you. one of the problems as all of the people who are trying to cure the problem itself -- callers to c-span -- judges, lawyers, administrators, principles, commentators, and even parents. it is everyone, except for the teachers. there is a certain contempt in our culture for providing -- you know, these abusive parents with help themselves, with academic
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help, psychological help, counseling. this whole culture needs to change. the conservative mentality of, you just let people think on their own is not going to work for this country. it has been going on for a long time. and it is just going to have to stop. we have to nip this problem and of but it and help these children and we have to help their parents as well. host: what are the solutions? caller: one of them is -- i know that social workers are underpaid, and they can be used to be getting after these parents. i know that can be a solution. the german talk about the amount of money spent on the department of education but -- gentlemen talked about the money being
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spent on the part of education but what is not being spent on law enforcement and social workers and other forms of help for people who are living in desperately poor and overcrowded situations. host: if you go back to the education web site, a little bit more of the issue of how much is being spent in the federal level. education department's programs and responsibilities have grown substantially over the years but the department itself has not. planned fiscal year 2010 level of 4199 education staff, 44% below the 7528 employees who administer federal education of -- programs in several different agencies. from 1980 when the department was created. staff reductions along with wide range of improvements helped limit administrative cost to approximately 2% of the discretionary budget. fullerton, california.
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helen, republican line. caller: i am a teacher in the los angeles area and also the proud member of the tea party. it one thing that is the problem with education is that it is one of the few professions that has been so politicized, meaning that it is government funded but it is a profession outside of government with its own time honored institutions. it has been around a lot longer than most governments have -- the institution of education. but the problem is, it is so politicized. and in response to the political movement at the time. so, they are guilty of doing for research. guilty of attaching themselves to quick fixes to make themselves and look better in the eyes of the politicians. i'd cut can i jump in and ask you something -- i wanted to show you --
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host: can i jump in and ask you something. i wanted to show you 2009 education statistics. percentage of people 25 years older -- and over, and education attainment. from 1940 until 2009, you can see a steady decline in those that have less than high school completion a steady decline in those who have completed their high school years. and an incline in those who are receiving bachelor's degrees or higher degrees. is there even a problem? caller: the problem is -- first of all, 1940 you had half the population you do have now. 1940, you did not have the wave of immigrants coming in who have english as a second language, who have come from maybe more impoverished background. you have some differences. you are not putting in all the numbers that show the true picture. a and we do have more people now
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-- i can go to about five other statistics and five other graphs that show more people now than in the 1940's are getting college degrees. you have one graf, i have about three or four other graphs that show the opposite. not setting any one is right or wrong in this. but there are more numbers than what is being presented in the media. host: as a teacher, what do you think are some solutions? you talk about immigration policy. do you have solutions in mind? caller: the solutions -- why don't you let teachers teach? why don't you let people know the profession have more control over it instead of allowing it to be politicized by any local politician or federal politician or state politician who wants to make a name for themselves and they jump on this "i am going to fix education, give or your kids college bandwagon." why not allow this to be a profession -- not specifically
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you, but the table who are always complaining about education, let the professionals take control of it and improve it. i have been doing this for a couple of decades. i have an idea of what i am doing. i have a master's degree. i did not buy it from somewhere. i really endeavored in my field and in my profession and i cannot allow to be a part of it. i am always having to dance to someone else's tune, political tune. host: when you say you are not being allowed to be part of it, is at the printable, school board, superintendent? caller: i am going to say directly it is those people i never see. not the board of education -- i would say the federal government and the state government with all of the mandates and a new quick fix fads to appease voters. race to the top -- yeah. no child left behind. it is all the same fad, and what
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is so frustrating, no child left behind, most teachers jump through all the hoops. that is never really brought out. every teacher was told you have to have extra education, you have to meet these above and beyond standard, and most of them did. now we have raced to the top. host: before we go, because we need other voices. i wanted to ask you quickly. you said you are a proud member of the tea party movement. do you agree with some candid and said we need to abolish the education department? education department? caller: did know what, to a degree because the real problem i see -- this is why i am leaning toward the tea party -- is it is too much government, too few people making too many major decisions affecting most people. that is why i am leaning toward the tea party. it really is a phenomenon -- it really is a grass roots movement that is not headed by an elite few, not a hierarchal
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organization. that is what appeals to me because i think honestly, i think most people know more than most politicians in washington, d.c. host: we will have to leave it there. on this article and "the washington post" this morning. democratic candidates are going after the issue of education, and when they are running against tea party candidates, take a look at michael bennett's ad in the column are the senate race and then ken buck. then i am michael bennett and i approve this message. >> i will be a voice to represent the people on main street. >> who is ken buck, and does he
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speak for colorado? he wants to privatize social security. even question whether social security should exist at all. is an't know if it constant -- constitutional or not. >> on education. >> we do not need a department of education. >> he wants to and student loans for middle-class kids. >> ken buck even once the ban common forms of birth control and his view on abortion. >> i am pro-life, and i will answer the next question. >> maybe ken buck asked the right question. >> ken buck commission not be speaking for colorado. >> michael bennett's votes are >> michael bennett's votes are so bad, he can't defend them, so he is attacking me with false and unfair ads. what is unfair to colorado of
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bennett pausing record of overspending, regulating, and taxing. rubberstamp for his friends in washington, he is legislating unemployment, spending money we don't have on programs we don't need. what is the ken buck difference, what is right for colorado's and not big spenders in washington. i am ken buck, and i approve this message. >> the latest ads in the senate colorado race. michael bennett over ken buck's comments that he wants to do away with education department. cold water, mississippi. betty, democratic line. caller: this is my second time calling, long time c-span watcher. my feelings are that when we talk about education, education, and my opinion, is a three-way street. first, it starts with the
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parents, then the children, and then the teacher. children should come to school prepared to start first grade but some parents are negligent. but some parents are negligent. next, we need to find parents -- make the parents required or be responsible for -- so children are required to come to school. host: let me ask you a question -- can you turn down your television a little bit? did you, cavalry assembly of god church from jefferson city. the chaplain: our father, we come to you today asking your divine blessings upon this house of representatives as
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they are called upon to make many decisions. we ask your divine direction for not only this house but our president and all others that are called upon to lead this great nation. lord, help them to remember we are not great because of our vast resources, or manufacturing abilities, but because our forefathers believe your word is said blessed is the nation whose god is the lord. as they look to you, lord, you lead them, your blessings upon this great land. but today, lord, we need your divine directions and blessings to be upon this nation more than ever. now, lord, let your blessings being upon each one of these men and women that are leaders today. this we pray in jesus name, amen. the speaker pro tempore: the chair has examined the journal of the last day's proceedings and announces to the house his approval thereof. pursuant to clause 1 of rule 1, the journal stands approved.
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the pledge of allegiance will be led by the gentleman from missouri, congressman skelton. mr. skelton: i pledge allegiance to the flag of the united states of america and to the republic for which it stands, one nation under god, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all. the speaker pro tempore: the chair will receive a message. the messenger: mr. speaker, a message from the senate. the secretary: mr. speaker. the speaker pro tempore: madam secretary. the secretary: i have been directed by the senate to inform the house that the senate has passed s. 3847, an act to implement certain defense corporation treaty and for other purposes in which the concurrence of the house is requested. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the gentleman from missouri, congressman skelton, is recognized for one minute. mr. skelton: mr. speaker, i
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rise today to personally welcome to the house our guest chaplain, past your -- pastor roy bennett of missouri. his son, david, is accompanying him in the gallery. a native of the show me state, pastor bennett was raised on a farm in southeast missouri, attended high school in zelma, moving with his family to st. louis following high school he attended brooks bible institute and was ordained in the assemblies of god. exselling in his ministry, pastor bennett would go on to serve congregations in the communities of marble hill, salem, and versailles. for the past seven years pastor bennett has grown a vibrant congregation at the first assembly of god church in jefferson city, missouri. where he currently serves as senior pastor. as his 50 years of service throughout rural missouri demonstrate, pastor bennett has
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been an invaluable leader for several communities throughout our state. i join my colleagues in welcoming pastor bennett to the u.s. house of representatives and we thank his son, david, who is with him today, one of his two sons, david is a former member of the armed services. i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the chair lays before the house the following communication. the clerk: the honorable the speaker, house of representatives. madam, pursuant to the permission granted in clause 2-h of rule 2 of the rules of the u.s. house of representatives, the clerk received the following message from the secretary of the senate on september 24, 2010, at 12:43 p.m. that the senate passed, senate 3839, senate 3196, that the senate passed without amendment h.r. 6190, appointments, state and local law enforcement
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congressional badge bravery board, federal law enforcement congressional badge board, public safety officer medal of honor review board, with best wishes i am signed sincerely, lorraine c. miller, clerk of the house. the speaker pro tempore: the chair lays before the house the following communication. the clerk: the honorable the speaker, house of representatives. madam, pursuant to the permission granted in clause 2-h of rule 2 of the rules of the u.s. house of representatives, the clerk received the following message from the secretary of the senate on september 28, 2010, at 10:00 a.m. that the senate passed with an amendment, h.r. 553, that the senate passed without amendment h.r. 3553, h.r. 3808, h.r. 2923. that the senate passed with amendment h.r. 946, h.r. 2092. that the house concur in house amendment to the text of the bill with an amendment, senate
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agrees to the house amendment to the title of the bill, senate 1510. that the senate concur in house amendment to the text and title of the bill. senate 2868. that the senate passed with an amendment h.r. 2701. that the senate passed senate 1338, sthat 3802. with best wishes i am, signed sincerely, lorraine c. miller, clerk of the house. the speaker pro tempore: pursuant to clause 4 of rule 1, the following enrolled bills were signed by the speaker on friday, september 24, 2010. the clerk: senate 1674, senate 3717, senate 3814. the speaker pro tempore: the chair lays before the house the following communication. following enrolled bill. the clerk: senate 846, an act to award a congressional gold medal to dr. muhammad ennis in
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recognition of his contributions to the fight against global poverty. the speaker pro tempore: the chair will entertain further requests for one minutes. for what purpose does the gentleman from oregon seek recognition? without objection, the gentleman from oregon is recognized to address the house for one minute. mr. blumenauer: thank you, mr. speaker. almost one billion people lack access to safe drinking water and basic sanitation. sick children miss 300 million school days a year from water-borne illness and it kills 5,000 children every day. our water for the world act emphasizes building sustainable expertise in these troubled countries. the senate passed out of the senate foreign relations committee unanimously and it passed the full senate unanimously the version of the water for the world bill. our house version has over 80 bipartisan co-sponsors. this legislation does not provide new money but helps us focus existing resources much
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more effectively to save lives. i hope that our leadership on both sides of the aisle will schedule and support this important legislation, a symbol we can work together while we help poor people around the globe. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from texas seek recognition? mr. burgess: to address the house for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the gentleman from texas is recognized for one minute. mr. burgess: thank you, for the recognition. mr. speaker, as you know we are back in town for a one or two day workweek. but where is the tax policy that this country so desperately needs to know? people are waiting. we heard it all in the month of august while we were at home in our district. end of the year tax planning, businesses making hiring decisions, employee pay raises, and yes, people doing estate plannings. no one can move because this congress has yet to act on extension of tax policy. we are all on hold until next
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year. now the internal revenue service cannot even begin to print the forms it will send out for people who want to be in compliance with our tax laws. forms that americans will need to be and be expected to fill out in january are not yet being printed. mr. speaker, madam speaker, we work late when it suited your purpose. cap and trade, may i remind you, was passed in this house late on a friday night. the first version of health care passed this house in november late on a saturday night. and the second version of health care, the senate version, which is now the law, passed late on a sunday night. this house is capable of working late but it seems only when it suits the purpose of the speaker of the house. madam speaker, i urge us to complete this important task before we go home. the house should not adjourn until our work is done. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from colorado seek recognition? >> permission to address the house for one minute. revise and extend. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the gentleman from colorado is recognized for one minute to
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address the house. mr. polis: one of the most troubled areas of the world is at the threshold of the great breakthrough for peace and for humanity. i call upon the israeli and palestinian leadership to remain committed to peace talks. i applaud the courageous decision of both prime minister netanyahu and president abbas to work together to achieve peace. a majority of israelis and palestinians support an agreement creating a palestinian state. the majorities in both populations supporting a negotiated two state solution. and there is not a lot left to negotiate. we know the basic parameters of such an agreement for many years. it's critical that as new developments threaten to derail the process, president abbas must put his people and hopes for independence and statehood above preconditions and israel should avoid providing excuses for the palestinians to exit the talks or actions to alienate palestinian support for the talks. i call upon both parties in the interest of their people and the people of the united states and the world to continue to engage in a good faith
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negotiation to create a comprehensive peace agreement to end the cycle of violence and replace it with a cycle of peace and prosperity for both peoples. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: pursuant to clause 8 of rule 20, the chair will postpone further proceedings today on motions to suspend the rules on which a recorded vote or the yeas and nays are ordered and on which the vote incurs objection under clause 6 of rule 20. record votes on postponed questions will be taken later. for what purpose does the gentleman from pennsylvania seek recognition? >> i move to suspend the rules and agree to house resolution 1605 as amended. the speaker pro tempore: the clerk will report the title of the resolution. the clerk: house resolution 1605, resolution recognizing the service of the medical and aircrews in helping our wounded warriors make the expeditious and safe trip home to the united states and commending the personnel of the air force for their commitment to the
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well-being of our service men and women. the speaker pro tempore: pursuant to the rule, the gentleman from pennsylvania, mr. kris -- krist, and the gentleman from north carolina, mr. jones, each will control 20 minutes. the chair now recognizes the gentleman from pennsylvania. mr. crist: mr. speaker, i yield myself such time as i may consume. and ask unanimous consent that all members may have five legislative days to revise and extend their remarks on the resolution under consideration. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, so ordered. the gentleman is recognized. mr. critz: mr. speaker, i rise today in support of house resolution 1605, recognizing the service of the medical and aircrews in helping our wounded warriors make the expeditious and safe trip home to the united states and commending the personnel of the air force for their commitment to the well-being of all our service men and women. i'd like to thank the gentleman from california, mr. thompson, for bringing this resolution before the house. mr. speaker, twice a week those of us who have south facing offices in the canyon,
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longworth office biddings can sometimes catch a glimpse of something subtle but awe inspiring. every once in a while we can see the arresting silhouette of a c-17 in a flight pattern towards andrew air force base on the final few minutes of the journey home for some of america's wounded warriors. twice per week on schedule these aeromedical kruse bring our service members home right here to the national capital area after having fallen ill or suffering injuries during an already difficult employment overseas. this powerful image is part of a much larger system. the air force has up to 500 medical personnel deployed to afghanistan, iraq, in europe and the united states as part of the team providing care and helping ensure that wounded soldiers, sailors, air men, and marines get safely home to their families. it takes an average three days for wounded troops to arrive at hospitals in the united states. this is over 40 days faster than during the vietnam war.
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we have air force air medical evacuation to thank for being the transportation's spine of the effort to bring our ill and injured men and women home as safely and quickly as possible. ultimately, air medical evacuation by the air force is part of an integrated combat casualty care system that includes frontline medics, corpsmen of the army, navy, and air force, as well as medical evacuation by army, navy, and marine corps flight crews. we owe our sincerest gratitude to each and every person in this system that has yielded an extraordinary 98% survival rate for wounded service members. so, mr. speaker, if you are ever facing south on the hill and see a c-17 on the horizon, you might not sigh in relief because it might be one of our air medical transports bringing our wounded warriors home. i urge my colleagues to support house resolution 1605 and i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the
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gentleman reserves the balance of his time. the gentleman from north carolina. mr. jones: mr. speaker, i yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. jones: mr. speaker, i rise in support of house resolution 1605 as amended, recognizing the service of the military medical and aircrews who help our wounded warriors return home quickly and safely and commending the members of the air force for their commitment to our service men and women. i thank the gentleman from california, mr. thompson, for introducing this resolution. . the key to our men and women surviving after being wounded in combat is immediate care following safe evacuation from the battlefield. no one does this better than the united states military. mr. speaker, today combat casualty care system is a complex, integrated effort that brings a wounded service member from the point of injury on the battlefield to the most
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sophisticated medical treatment available in the world. all the military services have a role in this effort. from frontline medics who treat our casualties to the ambulance and aircrews who provide critical transportation to the next level of medical care. we owe our utmost gratitude to all of the dedicated individuals who have a part in this lifesaving endeavor. but today we specifically recognize the men and women of the united states air force, their commitment to excellence has raised aeromedical evaluation to an unprecedented level of success. one only has to travel to andrews air force base to witness firsthand the care, compassion and love given to our returning wounded. the air force pilots, crew chiefs and doctors, nurses and medics have worked tirelessly to bring the wounded safely home. i urge my colleagues who have had not had that opportunity to
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watch them unload these transport planes to go out to andrews and see it. it is truly unforgettable. mr. speaker, i've been out there myself, and i must say that it is heartwarming and a humbling experience to see this fine work done by the united states air force and the care for these wounded. mr. speaker, i join all my colleagues to honor the military medical personnel and aircrews whose skill and provingalism ensure that our wounded -- professionalism ensure that our wounded warriors return home safely. i ask all members to strongly support this resolution. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves the balance of his time. mr. jones: mr. speaker, i'd yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the gentleman from pennsylvania. mr. critz: mr. speaker, at this time i have no further requests for time, and i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time.
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the question is will the house suspend the rules and agree to house resolution 1605 as amended. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair, 2/3 having responded in the affirmative, the rules are suspended and the resolution is agreed to and without objection, the motion to reconsider is laid on the table. for what purpose does the gentleman from pennsylvania seek recognition? mr. critz: mr. speaker, i move to suspend the rules and agree to house concurrent resolution 319 as introduced. the speaker pro tempore: the clerk will report the title of the concurrent resolution. the clerk: house concurrent resolution 319, concurrent resolution recognizing the anniversary of the tragic shootings that occurred at fort hood, texas, on november 5, 2009. the speaker pro tempore: pursuant to the rule, the gentleman from pennsylvania, mr. critz, and the gentleman from north carolina, mr. jones, each will control 20 minutes. the chair recognizes the gentleman from pennsylvania. mr. critz: mr. speaker, i yield myself such time as i may consume and ask unanimous consent that all members may have five legislative days to revise and extend their remarks
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on the resolution under consideration. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the gentleman is recognized. mr. critz: mr. speaker, i rise today in support of house concurrent resolution 319, recognizing the anniversary of the tragic shootings that occurred at fort hood, texas, on november 5, 2009. i'm grateful to my colleague from texas, mr. carter, for his work in authoring this resolution. mr. speaker, last november, a gunman opened fire at the soldier readiness processing center at fort hood where military and civilian personnel had recently returned from deployment or were preparing to go overseas. this was an event that saddened every american, and it is important that we as a nation remember those killed and injured and honor those who responded to assist the victims with courage and skill. ultimately 12 soldiers and one civilian lost their lives in this atrocious attack. in addition to these 13 fortunate americans who were murdered that day, 31 more were wounded. many of them were seriously wounded, but a quick response
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from army medics saved lives and mitigated the severity of some of the injuries. they rushed to those in need of attention away from the building even when the gunman was still present. at the same time law enforcement personnel worked to eliminate the danger at fort hood and the surrounding community. i'd like to convey my deepest sympathies to the families and friends to those killed and injured in the fort hood shootings and express gratitude to soldiers, army civilians and local residents who assisted in the rescue and recuperation of the victims, especially as the anniversary of this event draws closer. at this time, mr. speaker, i'd like to ask unanimous consent to enter the names of those soldiers and the former soldier who lost their lives in this senseless tragedy into the record. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. critz: i urge my colleagues to recognize the soldiers and civilians killed and vote in favor of house concurrent resolution 319. i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves the balance
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of his time. the gentleman from north carolina. mr. jones: mr. speaker, i yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. jones: mr. speaker, on november 5, 2009, 13 people were killed and 31 wounded at fort hood, texas, when a gunman attacked unarmed military and civilian personnel who were preparing for deployment or who recently returned to the united states from deployment. this was an attack that devastated the people there and across this nation. it was a senseless act of horror that betrayed our respect and dignity for human life. i want to thank my colleague, representative john carter of texas, for introducing this legislation to give all members an opportunity today to once again stand in support of the men and women at fort hood and their families who suffered in that time of trial. this resolution also honors those military civilian law enforcement officers who acted swiftly and courageously to neutralize the threat as well as the medical personnel who immediately began treating the wounded thereby reducing the
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loss of life. while we wait for the justice system to decide the fate of the gunman, it is important that we also recognize that fort hood's preparation beforehand enabled a timely response and situational control once the attack occurred. unfortunately, the attack at fort hood signals the requirement that such preparation apply to all of our military installations. and with that, mr. speaker, i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves the balance of his time. the gentleman from pennsylvania. mr. critz: mr. speaker, i yield as much time as he might consume to my friend and colleague, the chairman of military construction and veterans' affairs and a co-sponsor of this resolution, the gentleman from texas, mr. edwards. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from texas, mr. edwards, is recognized. ms. edwards: mr. speaker, i rise -- mr. edwards: mr. speaker, i rise in support of house concurrent resolution 319 and
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thank my friend from texas, mr. carter, for his tremendous leadership in day in and day out on behalf of the incredible soldiers and families of fort hood. mr. speaker, on behalf of citizens all across america, we rise today to express our deepest respect for the soldiers and families of fort hood, texas. as we approach the one-year anniversary of the tragic shooting there. i want to reaffirm to the fort hood family that they are still in the thoughts and prayers of our nation. it is a tragedy beyond words that americans who were willing to risk their lives for our country and combat abroad ended up losing their lives here at home. in an attack just one year ago would have seemed unimaginable. when the 12 soldiers and one civilian killed at fort hood last november, while they did not die in combat in a foreign country, they gave their lives
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defending america. for that we will always consider them heroes. spouses, children and families of the fallen may not have worn our nation's uniform, but they, too, have served our nation through their deep personal sacrifice. we will never ever forget that sacrifice. we cannot here bring back their loved ones, but i hope that they will forever feel the collective love and gratitude and prayers of millions of their fellow americans. mr. speaker, during this attack last year, fort hood was a scene of unspeakable tragedy. but i know it as a place of great triumph, a place where service to country isn't just an idea, it is a way of life. a place where the american spirit is alive and well. i hope the world will see the fort hood i saw as its
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representative in congress for 14 years through three combat deployments. when i think of fort hood, i think of soldiers, their families, their children and their neighbors and nearby communities who care for each other and are proud to serve. and, yes, sacrifice for our nation's freedom. fort hood is known as the great place because that is what it is. past, present and future. the actions of one deranged gunman should not and will not change that fact. the service men and women of fort hood, their families and the neighboring communities are a very special and unique family. they make fort hood what it is, a shining star in our nation's defense, a star there will burn brightly -- that will burn brightly for decades to come. while we honor the sacrifice of our veterans and our troops on
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veterans day and memorial day, i hope americans will remember every day how blessed we are to live in a land where our service men and women and their families are willing to sacrifice so much in service to country. let us all rededicate ourselves to honoring our troops, our veterans and their families. let us remember them not just on veterans day and memorial day with our words but every day. today, we send our prayers to those who were wounded, physically and emotionally, by the unprovoked attack last year at fort hood, and we ask that god keep them in his loving arms. those who gave that day in the words of lincoln, their last full measure of devotion. michael grant kahill, civilian physician assistant.
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major edwardo. staff sergeant justin m. decrow. captain john p. gastin. specialist fredrick green. specialist jason dean hunt. sergeant amy krueger. private first class aaron thomas. private first class michael pierson. captain russell seger. private francesca velas. private first class jong. while these heroes are now in god's loving arms, we here on earth shall not forget them. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the gentleman from north carolina. mr. jones: mr. speaker, at this
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time i'd like to yield to the gentleman who introduced this resolution, mr. john carter from texas, as much time as he might consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from texas, mr. carter, is recognized. mr. carter: thank you, mr. speaker. i thank my friend for yielding. mr. speaker, i rise in strong support of house concurrent resolution 319, commemorating the one-year anniversary of the tragic shooting at fort hood, texas. on november 5, 2009, a gunman entered the soldier readiness processing center in fort hood, texas, and mercilessly opened fire on military and civilian personnel who were preparing for deployment or recently returned from being overseas in a deployment. 13 people were killed, including one expecting mother and one former soldier. 31 people were wounded. some of the wounded like
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patrick ziegler, have required months of care and rehabilitation, which -- and that is an ongoing situation. wonderful stories came out of this. one story i heard as a young soldier who saw his sergeant get shot the third time he jumped between his sergeant and the shooter and took the rest of the rounds into his body because he just was afraid his sergeant wouldn't be able to survive any more. at the time there was a graduation ceremony going on in fort hood from college. a bunch of young soldiers were graduating from college right next door. when the call went out for medics, multiple members of that group threw off their cap and gown before they graduated and took off next door to the rehabilitation -- the processing center to work with the wounded. without regard to their own safety, civilian and military
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personnel, including sergeant munry and todd acted swiftly and corageously to neutralize the threat, using the active shooting training program they recently completed. army medics immediately reverted to their combat hone training and began treating the wounded and saved a lot of -- more loss of life. fellow soldiers from everywhere descended upon this area, and while the shooting was going on, risked their lives to evacuate their breatheren safely to the army hospital and to their safety. . countless americans united in support of fort hood victims and their families collecting millions of dollars in charitable donations. my office has worked hard to make sure the victims receive all their benefits. additionally we are working
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with the department of defense to overcome regulatory obstacles that have prevented the victims and their families from receiving charitable donations. i'm hopefulure colleagues will agree these legislative adjustments included in this year's defense authorization bill to ensure that fort hood victims and their families receive every benefit to which they are rightly entitled. i want to thank the house armed services committee and house leadership for working with my office to swiftly bring about this resolution to the floor. i ask my colleagues to join me in honoring the fort hood victims and their families by passing this house concurrent resolution 319. mr. speaker, i intentionally did not discuss the accused shooter in an effort to protect his rights to a fair and impartial trial when that trial occurs. i thank you for the time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the gentleman from north carolina. mr. jones: i yield back the
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balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from north carolina yields back the balance of his time. the gentleman from pennsylvania. mr. criths: mr. speaker, at this time i have no further request for time and i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the gentleman from pennsylvania. the members -- the question is will the house suspend the rules and agree to house concurrent resolution 319. so many as are in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair, 2/3 of those voting having responded in the affirmative, the rules are suspended, the concurrent resolution is agreed to, and without objection the motion to reconsider is laid upon the table. for what purpose does the gentleman from pennsylvania seek recognition? mr. critz: mr. speaker, i move to suspend the rules and agree to house resolution 1630, as amended. the speaker pro tempore: the clerk will report the title of the resolution. the clerk: house resolution 1630, resolution expressing support for national pow-mia recognition day. the speaker pro tempore: pursuant to the rule, the gentleman from pennsylvania, mr. critz, and the gentleman
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from north carolina, mr. jones, each will control 20 minutes. the chair wreck nieses -- recognizes the gentleman from pennsylvania. mr. critz: mr. speaker, i yield myself such time as i may consume. i ask unanimous consent that all members may have five legislative days to revise and extend their remarks on the resolution under consideration. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. the gentleman from pennsylvania is recognized. mr. critz: mr. speaker, i rise today in support of house resolution 1630, expressing support for national prisoner of war-missing in action recognition day. i'd like to thank the gentleman from illinois, mr. lipinski, for sponsoring this resolution. mr. speaker, on september 17, a very important and symbolic flag flew over the united states capitol. one that represents both the deepest and rawest wounds of war as well as uncommon valor and the most selfless of sacrifices. this is the pow-mia flag. etched in black and white on this flag is a silhouette of a young man whose face cannot be seen. this is the face of every soldier, sailor, airman, and marine who has endured imprisonment and the harshest
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conditions of a prisoner of war and every brave soul who did not return home from battle but remains unaccounted for in a distant land. as a nation it is our sacred duty to ensure these missing soldiers are not forgotten and work tirelessly until every story end and all are accounted for. by recovering our missing soldiers we also recover a missing peace of our national heritage and honor, those who fought to preserve it. honoring american p.o.w.'s and m.i.a.'s is a reminder to look back on our proud history, a tap pesttry woven of thousands of individuals and sacrifices and livetsb lives dedicated to preservation of the freedom we hold so dear. this is the embodiment of our country's solemn promise of the missioning in war and missing in action of our armed forces. i urge my colleagues to recognize and commend the service of the thousands of former prisoners of war and service members missing in action by voting in favor of house resolution 1630, and i reserve the balance of my time.
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the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from pennsylvania reserves the balance of his time. the gentleman from north carolina. mr. jones: mr. speaker, i yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. jones: mr. speaker, i rise in support of house resolution 1630, to express support for national prisoners of war, missing in action recognition day. aid like to commend the gentleman from illinois, mr. lipinski, for introducing this resolution. at the heart of this resolution is the principle that the american military never leaves a fallen comrade behind. more than 84,000 members of the armed forces remain unaccounted for from world war ii, korean war, vietnam, and the cold war, and gulf war. and u.s. military personnel are being held in afghanistan and iraq. since the vietnam war, achieving this fully as possible accounting of p.o.w.'s and m.i.a.'s has been a national priority. the department of defense organizations principally responsible for the accounting effort have made significant
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progress even at the cost of the lives of some involved in the physically demanding dangerous field work required. i want to especially commend the efforts of the defense p.o.w. missing persons office, the joint p.o.w.-m.i.a. accounting command, the arm forces identification laboratory, the life sciences equipment laboratory, and each of the military services. they make up the core of the deps of defenses accounting community. yet with all the progress that has been made, more needs to be done. the house armed services committee took the lead a year ago with the enactment of the first time of the statutory requirement that the p.o.w.'s and missing from all americans wars be fully accounted for. in addition to legislation mandated that by 2015 the department of defense achieve the fullest possible accounting of no less than 200 persons a year. to achieve this requirement will require additional resources and an improved
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integration of effort among the d.o.d. accounting community. we look forward to the department of defense's plan to improve the way it has conducted the accounting emissions. it is also important for us to understand and commend the efforts of the families of loved ones of those who remain unaccounted for, their unflagging grassroots efforts, as well as those of national pow-mia organization vs. been essential to ensure that both the congress and the executive branch remain committed to the accounting effort. finally, we must not forget those who died as pow's or survived captivity despite starvation, forced labor, and severe torture. for this reason this resolution in support of national prisoner of war, missing in action recognition day is an important one. i urge unanimous support for its cooperation. -- adoption. i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the
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gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the gentleman from pennsylvania. mr. critz: i yield such time as he may consume to my friend and colleague and the sponsor of this resolution, the gentleman from illinois, mr. lipinski. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from illinois is recognized. mr. lipinski: thank you, mr. speaker. i rise today in support of h.res. 1630, expressing support for national p.o.w.-m.i.a. recognition day which occurred on september 17. with every war america wages, our nation owes a greater debt to the courageous and selfless members of the united states armed forces who have fought to secure our freedom and liberty. during the course of these conflicts, more than 138,000 brave american service men and women have returned as prisoners of war. many suffered through torture, forced labor, unspeakable
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hardship. some p.o.w.'s returned home, others did not. they all deserve our recognition and our gratitude. also deserving special recognition are those americans who never returned from war, who are missing in action. indeed, there remain today over 84,000 missing in action soldiers, sailors, air men, and marines for unaccounted -- who are unaccounted for on the battlefields of world war ii, korea, vietnam, the cold war, and the gulf war. one particular group of american heroes i want to mention today are the more than 500 u.s. marines and sailors from world war ii who remain unaccounted for on the small pacific atoll of terraowa. i worked with armed forces committee chairman, ike skelton torques include language in the 2010 defense authorization urging the defense department
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to review new research and location of the remains of servicemen there and do everything feasible to see that they are recovered. the joint pow-mia accounting command has just returned from there with word that they have recovered the remains of what they believe to be two u.s. servicemen. i along with the families of those missing service members look forward to receiving the full report on this mission. as our obligation to honor extraordinary service of all american p.o.w.'s and m.i.a.'s. congress first 356ed the resolution commemorating national pow-mia recognition day in 1979. since then the third friday of every september hags been setaside to give -- has been set aside to give remembrance to prisoners of war, unaccounted mill trear
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personnel and their families and friends. so long is members of our armed forces remain unaccounted for, we must expend every effort to bring them home to the country in whose defense they fought and sacrificed. it is vital that today's troops and their families know u.s. will pursue all possible measures to fulfill the promise of recovery. i want to highlight the unwavering commitment of the military command of recovering the remains and providing closure to the families of americans who remain missing in action from previous conflicts. the joint pow-mia accounting command has successfully undertaken countless missions throughout the world to bring home the remains of fallen service members and the efforts of the defense department's pow-missing personnel office, the armed forces identification laboratory, the life sciences
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equipment laboratories, and veterans and p.o.w.-mia organizations are more than deserving of recognition as well. unfortunately, we cannot forget the two u.s. servicemen who are currently listed and held captive in iraq and afghanistan. we will continue to pray for a swift and auspicious end to their ordeal. i want to make my colleague ---thank my colleagues to join me in co-sponsoring this resolution as well as chairman skelton for his help in moving this resolution. i want to thank mr. critz for his work on this issue and other issues in serving our veterans and also mr. jones for all his work for our veterans. until they are home, our thoughts and prayers will forever remain with the families, friends, and loved ones of those americans who have suffered through tremendous hardship for their country.
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i ask all my colleagues to join in support of national pow-mia recognition day and to take a moment to reflect upon the immeasurable sacrifices made by america's service men and women to ensure our freedom. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the gentleman from pennsylvania. mr. critz: mr. speaker, i have no further requests for time and i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from pennsylvania yields back the balance of his time. members, the question is now will the house suspend the rules and agree to house resolution 1630 as amended. so many as are in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair, 2/3 of those voting having responded in the affirmative, the rules are suspended, the resolution is agreed to, and without objection the motion to reconsider is laid upon the table.
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for what purpose does the gentlewoman from the virgin islands seek recognition? mrs. christensen: mr. speaker, i move to suspend the rules and pass house resolution 1378. the speaker pro tempore: the clerk will report the title of the resolution. the clerk: house resolution 1378. resolution condemning the theft of the mow half vee national preserve of the national mow half vee cross memorial honoring american soldiers who died in world war i. the speaker pro tempore: pursuant to the rule, the gentlewoman from the virgin islands m. mrs. christensen, and the gentleman from washington, mr. hastings, each will control 20 minutes. the chair now recognizes the gentleman from the virgin islands. mrs. christensen: thank you, mr. speaker. i ask unanimous consent that all members may have five legislative days to revise and extend their remarks and include extraneous material on the resolution under consideration. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the gentlewoman from is recognized. mrs. christensen: thank you. mr. speaker, house resolution 1378 was introduced in may by
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representative lewis of california, the resolution condemns the theft of a cross from the sun rise rock in the mojave national preserve. this cross was first placed on federal land in 1934 as a memorial to american soldiers who died in the first world war. legal proceedings regarding constitutional issues raised by the cross are ongoing. however the theft of the cross is inexcusable. we support this measure's condemnation of that left and urge all federal law enforcement officials to continue their efforts to recover the cross bring those responsible for the theft to justice. mr. speaker, i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves the balance of his time. the gentleman from washington. . mr. hastings: thank you, mr. speaker. i yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. hastings: mr. speaker, i want to commend mr. louis for california in bringing this bill before the house. the recent theft of the mojave cross memorial for the soldiers who died in world war i is a
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merit that shows our strongest condemnation. i ask the gentlelady if she has further speakers. if not i'll yield back my time. mrs. christensen: i don't have no further speakers. mr. hastings: yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the gentlelady from the virgin islands. mrs. christensen: i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman yields back the balance of her time. the question is will the house suspend the rules and pass h.r. h.res. 1378. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair, 2/3 having responded in the affirmative, the rules are suspended, the resolution is passed and without objection the motion to reconsider is laid on the table. for what purpose does the gentlewoman from california seek recognition? >> mr. speaker, i move to suspend the rules and pass house resolution 1636. the speaker pro tempore: the clerk will report the title of the resolution. the clerk: house resolution 1636, resolution celebrating the 75th anniversary of the hoover dam.
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the speaker pro tempore: pursuant to the rule, the gentlewoman from california, mrs. napolitano, and the gentleman from washington, mr. hastings, each will control 20 minutes. the chair recognizes the gentlewoman from california. mrs. napolitano: thank you, mr. speaker. i ask unanimous consent that all members may have five legislative days to revise and extend their remarks and include extraneous material on the resolution under consideration. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the gentlewoman from california is recognized. mrs. napolitano: thank you, mr. speaker. house resolution, a bipartisan resolution, commemorates the 65th anniversary of the dedication of hoover dam and recognizes the past, the weren't and the future ben -- the present and the future benefits to the agricultural, to the industrial and to the urban development of the southwestern united states. during its 75-year history, hoover dam has played a pivotal role in shaping what the southwest is today. from a region with an inconsistent supply of water to now, providing water for more
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than 18 million people, including irrigation water for over one million acres of farmland in the states of arizona, california, nevada and 500,000 acres in mexico. that beautiful natural resource that sparkles adds life to the west. while this facility was completed 3/4 of a century ago, it continues for today and tomorrow to provide water and power certainty for millions of people. we currently have legislation pending in the senate, senate bill 2891, and this h.r. 3940, the hoover power of 2010. this would generate power at hoover dam estimated at four billion kilowatt of hydropower for the next 50 years. i would want to reiterate our support for the enactment of this important legislation. mr. speaker, i ask my
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colleagues to support this passage of this bipartisan resolution. hoover dam is truly a marvel of engineering, of technology and human endeavor. and tomorrow this re-enactment of this dedication will take place in las vegas. mr. speaker, i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman from california reserves the balance of her time. the gentleman from washington. mr. hastings: thank you, mr. speaker. i yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. the gentleman from washington. mr. hastings: thank you, mr. speaker. mr. speaker, generations ago water and power visionaries came up with the idea of making the west bloom bihar vesting our rivers. -- by harvesting our rivers. the hoover dam is that vision. when completed in 1935 it was the tallest dam and largest hydroelectric generator in the world. it powered cities in the arid west. still today it provides numerous benefits. emissions-free hydropower, drinking and irrigation water
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and recreation and flood control. this bipartisan resolution is a fitting honor to the hoover dam, to those who are the foresight to create one of the world's best known engineering mar vells. with that, mr. speaker -- marvels. with that, mr. speaker, if my colleague from california has no more speakers i'm prepared to yield back. mrs. napolitano: mr. speaker, i have no more speakers. mr. hastings: yield back, mr. speaker. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the gentlewoman from california. mrs. napolitano: mr. speaker, very, very swiftly and quickly, before i yield back the balance of my time, i thank my staff and the minority staff on this beautiful resolution that is going to commemorate some magnificent achievements by the united states to really promote what we now know as the southwest. so with that i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman from california yields back the balance of her time. the question is will the house suspend the rules and agree to house resolution 1636. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair, 2/3 having responded in the
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affirmative, the rules are suspended, and the resolution is agreed to and without objection, the motion to reconsider is laid on the table. for what purpose does the gentlewoman from the virgin islands seek recognition? mrs. christensen: mr. speaker, i move to suspend the rules and concur in the senate amendments to h.r. 714. the speaker pro tempore: the clerk will report the title of the bill. the clerk: h.r. 714, an act to authorize the secretary of the interior to lease certain lands in virgin islands national park, and for other purposes. senate amendment. the speaker pro tempore: pursuant to the rule, the gentlewoman from the virgin islands, mrs. christensen, and the gentleman from washington, mr. hastings, each will control 20 minutes. the chair recognizes the gentlewoman from the virgin islands. mrs. christensen: thank you, mr. speaker. mr. speaker, again, i ask unanimous consent that all members may have five legislative days to revise and extend their remarks and include extraneous material on the bill under consideration. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the gentlewoman from the virgin islands is recognized.
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mrs. christensen: thank you. mr. speaker, i rise in strong support of h.r. 714, legislation that i introduced to authorize the secretary of the interior to enter into a lease with the owners of caneel bay resort in my congressional district. i have a longer statement which i will submit for the record, but i wanted to begin by thanking natural resources chairman nick rahall and subcommittee chairman raul grijalva for their strong and steadfast support of this bill. i also want to thank ranking member hastings and subcommittee ranking member bishop for their support as well. mr. speaker, h.r. 714 passed the house in february of 2009 and was approved by the other body with an amendment on may 14 of this year. we have been working to secure the enactment of this or a similar bill for more than four years which will mean that the district that the largest employer on the island of st. john in my district will be able to make badly needed upgrades to its facilities and
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keep safe jobs for over 400 employees during these challenging economic times. in conclusion, mr. speaker, i want to thank the natural resources committee chief of staff, chief counsel and national park, forest and public land subcommittee staff director for all their hard work and assistance on this bill. h.r. 714 is an example of an effective public-private partnership, and i urge my colleagues to support its adoption. i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman from the virgin islands reserves the balance of her time. the gentleman from washington, mr. hastings. mr. hastings: thank you, mr. speaker. i yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. hastings. mr. hastings: thank you, mr. speaker. mr. speaker, h.r. 714 has been adequately explained by the gentlelady from the virgin islands, and we have no objections at all to this legislation. and i'll just inquire of my friend from the virgin islands if she has no further speakers i am prepared to close. mr. speaker, i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from washington
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yields back the balance of her time. the gentlewoman from the virgin islands. mrs. christensen: i yield back the balance of my time, mr. speaker. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman from the virgin islands yields back the balance of her time. members, the question is will the house suspend the rules and concur with the senate amendment to h.r. 714. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair, 2/3 having responded in the affirmative, the rules are suspended, the senate amendment is agreed to and without objection the motion to reconsider is laid on the table.
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the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from california seek recognition? >> mr. speaker, i move to suspend the rules and pass the bill h.r. 5360 as amended. the speaker pro tempore: the clerk will report the title of the bill. the clerk: h.r. 5360, a bill to amend title 38, united states code, to modify the standard of visual acuity required for eligibility for specially adapted housing assistance provided by the secretary of veterans affairs.
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the speaker pro tempore: pursuant to the rule, the gentleman from california, mr. filner, and the gentleman from washington, mr. hastings, each will control 20 minutes. the chair recognizes the gentleman from california, mr. filner. mr. filner: mr. speaker, i yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. filner: and i ask unanimous consent that all members may have five legislative days to revise and extend their remarks and include extraneous material on h.r. 5360. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the gentleman is recognized. mr. filner: i want to commend, mr. speaker, congresswoman stephanie herseth sandlin, for introducing h.r. 5360, also known as the health veterans act of 2010. for the last four years of the chair of the veterans economic subcommittee, she raised the needs by veterans, worked directly with veteran services groups to advance important policy to respond. this is a comprehensive bill that addresses the critical issues facing veterans. housing, education, employment. the collaboration, amongst a
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number of members working together to make an impact and to strengthen the economic opportunities for veterans. mr. speaker, we know that in today's terrible 10% unemployment rate for the nation veterans as a whole are almost double that and recently returned veterans is triple that. we as a body and a nation need to far more directly confront this issue. this is not a way to say thank you to the veterans who have served us, and this is one bill that will help make an improvement in all this. i would reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from california reserves the balance of his time. the gentleman from washington, mr. hastings. mr. hastings: thank you, mr. speaker. mr. speaker, this bill has been adequately explained by the gentleman from california. it does enjoy strong bipartisan support, and with that, mr. speaker, if there's no more requests for time i'll yield back the balance of my time.
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the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from -- mr. hastings: i inquire of my friend if he has more speakers. mr. filner: if the gentleman yields back his time, i have to further questions for time and yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from washington yields back the balance of his time. the gentleman from california yields the balance of his time. members, the question is now will the house suspend the rules and pass h.r. 5360 as amended. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair, 2/3 having responded in the affirmative, the rules are suspended, the bill is passed, and without objection the motion to reconsider is laid on the table. without objection, the title is amended. for what purpose does the gentleman from california seek recognition? mr. filner: mr. speaker, i move to suspend the rules and pass the bill h.r. 6132, as amended. the speaker pro tempore: the clerk will report the title of the bill. the clerk: h.r. 6132, a bill to amend title 38, united states code, to establish a transition program for new veterans, to improve the disability claim system, and for other purposes. the speaker pro tempore: pursuant to the rule, the
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gentleman from california, mr. filner, and the gentleman from washington, mr. haste -- mr. indiana, mr. buyer, each will control 20 minutes. the chair recognizes the gentleman from california. mr. filner: mr. speaker, i yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. filner: and i ask unanimous consent that all members may have five legislative days to revise and extend their remarks and include extraneous material on h.r. 6132 as amended. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. the gentleman from california is recognized, mr. filner. mr. filner: thank you. i rise in support of the bill h.r. 6132. once again, this is part of the employment problem i mentioned earlier. and many members of our committee worked on this. not only chairwoman herseth sandlin of the subcommittee on economic opportunity, but its ranking member, mr. boozman, plus our colleagues, mr. welch from vermont, mr. teague from new mexico. it again helps our veterans find jobs, and congressman

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